Teaching through trauma

This is my first year teaching.

I have spent the last four years working at elementary schools in various capacities. I have known, for awhile, that education is the career for me. It just took me some time to take the leap and go back to school to earn a second degree.

School was a safe place for me. Growing up, when life was crazy, chaotic, and traumatic, school represented a place where I could go and be free. Loved.

Throughout my schooling, there were a few individuals who saved me. The teachers who saw who I was, and encouraged me to do my best. The teachers who embraced me and made me feel loved and supported. The ones who saw beyond the messy hair or messed up clothes. The ones who didn’t care that my parents didn’t show to parent/teacher conferences and told me I was smart anyway.

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Parenting through my past

No matter who you are, parenting can be a difficult gig.

As a woman, I know that I frequently worry about the way my parenting looks–am I being judged? Do I look selfish? Do I play with my kids enough? Did I talk on the phone too long? Will my husband be upset if I try to go on a run this morning? And on and on the thoughts go.

And these are thoughts on normal days. Motherhood, in my experience, requires a thick skin. It is easy to let other people’s opinions affect you–it is easy to be pulled into dumb cultural battles (think breast vs. bottle, co-sleeping vs. crib, working vs. staying at home)–there is so much pressure to do everything correctly, and so many different opinions on what the “correct ways” are.

Long ago, I made the decision to do what was best for my family. I also made the decision to tell anyone else to do what is best for them. And you know what? That is empowering.  Continue reading

Why I cannot remain silent..

Much of this blog has been dedicated to my own personal journey–but I would be remiss if I did not speak about the toll that the latest political current events are taking on my life.

I am an educated, well-informed, white American woman.

It is because I am an educated, well-informed, white American woman that I say: I cannot sit back, in the comfort of my own, middle class home, and watch while scores of people are blatantly discriminated against. I have privilege–and it is my duty to recognize that and speak out against those who are being racist, prejudice, and ignorant. I cannot normalize it.

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About the last month

I’ve written over the last month that I am having a really hard time. I’ve been down…dark, and depressed. I’ve been fighting bouts of anxiety and nervousness, and stomach issues that are a result of all of it, but also make all the stress and nervousness worse.

I have been feeling trapped. And stuck. And hopeless. Continue reading

The pain of letting it out.

I have lived a lot of my life keeping quiet. Holding it all in. Talking about the crap that has happened to me has never been something that I have done.

Counseling has changed that–it has helped me put the pieces of my life back together, and it is helping me find the confidence to speak up AND to be okay again.

In the spirit of “speaking up,” I recently made a vulnerable confession to my grandmother. She was talking about my childhood and my mother, and I used this opportunity to share that I was seeing a counselor and ask her questions–I wondered if my memories matched up with her’s.  Continue reading

When saying “No” wasn’t enough

This week, the internet erupted in chatter and condemnation of Brock Turner, a champion swimmer from Stanford University who was convicted of raping an unconscious woman after a party. The judge, disgustingly, ruled that this young man–this rapist–will be serving less than six months in jail.

This is not justice. Not for the victim. Not for women anywhere.

After the ruling came out, the victim released a brutally honest statement to her perpetrator.  I came across this on Facebook, as I was scrolling through, and I soon found myself pulled into her story, with tears streaming down my face, aching for her and the injustice of the entire situation.

Sexual assault. It happens. Unfortunately, it happens far too often and, as women, we are often taught that we cannot speak out and share the terrible things that happened to US…because there is so often judgement about what we “could have done” to stop it.

Twice in my life, I have been sexually assaulted. I read once that children who have been sexually abused are more likely to be sexually assaulted as adults. For me, unfortunately, this is a truth. Continue reading